I did add the word "valiant" to fit this prayer into my A to Z. Creative license!
But seriously. This is a personal passion of mine, creating safe and welcoming places for LGBT people to call home. The church has wrought so much damage and pain, and we have so much apologizing to do. I am so proud of my own church, ELCA Lutherans, for voting to affirm and allow rostered gay clergy and in Oregon, to support same-sex marriage enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. It's the right thing to do, to welcome all, and it's what Jesus Christ would do himself.
Valiant Prayer for Boys and Girls of Other Sexual Orientation than Mine
Brothers and sisters, I did not understand the pain and strain of your lives. I did not know the humiliation you endured. I did not know nor did I even try to know the fear of being cast out from your family and your friends.
I did not know what it was like to be insulted and castigated and beaten for the crime of being yourself. I did not know what it was like to be welcomed in word but not in deed in my Church.
I did not know the trepidation with which you spoke honestly of who you were for the first time. I did not know nor did I try to know.
I made scurrilous remarks myself, once upon a time. I casually tossed slurs for comic effect. I stand here ashamed and abashed. I ask quietly for your forgiveness.
I pray for your calm courage and your patience with us who were cruel and dismissive and ignorant and worse. I ask this of the One who once assumed a form like ours, and in that form was insulted and castigated and beaten for the crime of being Himself.
I pray that the slow changes I see now in our country and in our species are a sign of our progress another inch toward love; which is why we are here, brothers and sisters. And so: amen.
Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary!
You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on Amazon. Brian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.